Mill Park Personal trainer

Winter time is building time

Time to ramp up your training

Winter is finally here so expect the darkness, chilling wind, the footie and the rain to keep us company for the next few months. I reckon now it’s probably great time to change your training around, keep motivated and achieve those results that you’re after. That’s right! Rug up it time to put in the long yards and get some serious base training in!

In my opinion this is the best time to work out so don’t let a little coolness hold you back. Take advantage unlike the others who drop off and get working. The alternative is to stay indoors, grab some chips, chocolate and catch up on all those programs you have been missing out on, but I know that this is not you.

Here’s my cheeky yet honest opinion on what you can do to keep you focused and motivated over the winter months.

Build your strength base

For the experienced strength trainer it’s time to load up that squat rack and start placing more weight plates on your deadlift my friend. Yep for the weight lifting crowd it means cover up and starts working on those honest compound lifts. Winter is great for now getting into some pure and serious strength training in while following a simple yet challenging 5×5 or 5×3 program in building up your limiting strength or pack on some more muscle. No more of the 2 hour, high rep 6 exercise routine. Bring it back to the basics and lifts. Just make sure your lifting goals are clear and you are injury free. Now is the time to put in and go hard.

For the more recreational trainer it’s a great time to get in some consistent training in and work on getting in a full body program over the training week. Include some cardio and don’t neglect your stretches. After 6-8 month of solid training expect to be heavier and slightly more muscular. Enjoy, Hang in there and don’t be a fair weather trainer.

As for my female readers it shouldn’t be too different for you with this approach. It’s just a matter of keeping the food in control and eat enough to fuel your workout. It’s about being lean, fit and healthy. No skinny at any cost. You won’t put on size if you lift weight.

Your fitness engine

The cooler months are much kinder to anything cardio related. I’d rather be properly attired with my running clothing than run out in the summer’s heat. The body takes a greater toll when one is exerting themselves in the hotter months so I would only recommend you minimize the hard running and focus on events during this time. (As you have already put in the hard runs) As for winter it’s great to be able to push the body without blowing up and with a smart program you can recover quicker and constantly push the pace in building your cardio engine. Running/cycling in winter is also easier when monitoring the body’s own temperature as you can layer up and remove items as you move along. Get out and embrace the cool. Do some research and invest in some proper winter clothing. You won’t look back! Tip: Find a training buddy and hit the cardio machines or get out and about. You can both keep each other accountable.

Work on weaknesses

Hips lacking power? Need to build up the shoulders or need core strength? Yep you guessed it. It’s time to focus on those imbalances and areas of opportunity now. You have 4-6 month of cool weather to work on weaknesses and before you know it you are a better version of the one that decided to focus in on those particular areas. Time to give those stubborn body parts attention, target your lack of any cardio, finally get some flexibility in or simply improving any lacking technique. It a great opportunity to work on those key parts of you goals and get it sorted out.  Imagine getting to spring feeling ready to go and knowing you have put in the work and improved previous areas of concern.

Work on food quality

What a perfect time to start working on your food. Don’t give me the” I’m not motivated and hand me my comfort food here” or “I’m too tired” rubbish. You simply cannot neglect such an important part of you strength, fitness and health goals. It’s all about the food. You cannot bust out a solid workout and expect results by feeding yourself junk. In this day and age there is an abundance of information out there that can help you out and provide you with the basic understanding of how to go about eating healthy and clean. Get the basics right from the start and then maybe when you are eating well and you are getting in the quality nutrients, then maybe you could invest and think about reaching for the Protein powder, Creatine, or any other supplement you think you may need. Most of the time if you already have a sound established nutritious eating habit you don’t need it. Honestly your nutrition usually requires a little tweaking so be honest and clean it up. Think quality first.

For the weight loss crowd

For those who simply want to lose the weight now is the time to put in the work and get educated about how to shift the kilos. No secret here, it’s a matter of incorporating a nutrient quality approach and take it from there. The fad diet, totally omitting a food group or I’m doing my own thing doesn’t work nor does the “its comfort food season” mindset and “you gotta live” excuses. This approach will only set you back further. If you don’t bother now don’t question why you are still overweight in spring. I see it all the time with people. It’s always about food and sedentary lifestyle choices. You have 4-6 month now before the fair weather arrives so you have a choice now. Do something about it or wait until spring to once again procrastinate whether you are going to diet again.

It’s about education and being consistent with your overall habits. Not the short term quick results approach. It’s not easy, but it ever so worth it.

A positive mindset

This is everything when it comes to reaching your goals. Most often with people they are highly motivated at the moment, however this changes when the reality of turning up mid-June in the dark and have to put in the work. Better to stay at home warm in front of the telly…..yeah? A positive mindset will not only motivate you to work out but will go a long way in helping you to fix up other lacking areas (your Health) and soon enough with a consistent few months, you’ll be eating better, getting stronger, be fitter and you will most likely start reaching your goals on the scale. An ordinary attitude doesn’t not help you nor does it endear you to fellow class participants so please understand that your mindset is important.

most importantly , stay positive, commit and take advantage of the cooler months.

Rug up enjoy!

Claudefit is a Mill Park Based Personal Trainer with 10 year experience directly in the fitness industry in addition to his own.

Get yourself active, your kids will follow.

Parents be active

As a fitness professional  and an active dad one of the observations that I’ve made is the inability of parents to get actively involved with their own kids when it comes to simple activities like kick the kick, a simple bike ride around the park or just joining in on the fun at the local playground.  It seems to me that parent these days are too busy checking in their Facebook status or playing games on their phones whilst missing out on valuable parenting and interacting with their kids. I’m going out on a limb here and reckon some of you agree while some of you might be offended, this is not my intent.

What I’m not suggesting is to go out and play hard and hurt yourself. What I’m asking is for you to at least have the ability to simply move around as required, have a base fitness level to keep up and have a body strong enough for you not to be sore. Seriously you shouldn’t be sore after just playing with you kids. Getting yourself “fit” does not mean you need to look like a fitness cover model and be able to play like an elite AFL player. (Would be great though)It simply means being able have a body that is able to deliver solid fitness, strength and movement.

How about taking a more proactive effort into your own personal health and incorporate a fitness regime that works around the kids while creating an opportunity to fit in a workout. Given that almost two-thirds of Australians are overweight, including one in four children It’s about time you stopped being a spectator and let the kid having all the fun. Go ahead join in and get that base fitness up, you’ll be surprised what you can achieve.

You might end up having a good time.

Here’s a couple of ways that you can find the time to get some exercise in and by extension possibly get the kids involved. From the little I know of kids they copy what you do.  So basically the old saying “monkey sees monkey do” rings true so go out and get moving, as a family should.

Fitness Tips

  • While the little ones are participating in say Gymnastics, Swimming, or Martial arts why don’t you use this opportunity to go out for a walk and time it so that you get back a little sooner and still be able to spectate the kids. In my experience the little ones won’t mind if their parents are also exercising. Why let them get all the benefits? Plus they will be pleased that you are exercising just like them.
  • What about when you take them to the park, you do take them don’t you? Get involved and don’t be the parent who just sits there and ignores their kids while they seeking your attention and approval. Go ahead and join in, even if it’s just too initially stretch out and get used to the equipment again since you last played on them.
  • Walk when you can. As simple as it sounds for most even having the desire or energy to walk is hard. How about taking the time to walk up to the shops for small items, the local park or any other regular location nearby. Take the time out and get that 30minutes in, too easy. If it’s cold put a jacket on, if it’s a light rain grab a brollie. Simply get out and walk. The 5 minute drive can be left behind.
  • Running on an oval can be a beginner’s guide to getting out and enjoying the benefits of running. It’s how I’ve managed to get my clients started. How? Simple. Start off with a few meters of running then walk for a while and repeat. An example on a footie oval would be run for about 100 meters and walk for another 200 then repeat for about 3-5 laps. From there you’ll start managing it a bit more seriously and run half, walk a quarter and repeat. All of a sudden you are knocking of laps of the oval in no time. The kids can join in by playing ball sport in the middle of the ground while you keep an eye on them – and them on you.
  • Take the little ones out for a bike ride while you run. My personal favourite as it’s a time where my wife gets to go out at her pace and has my 10year old son ride beside her. They cover anything from 8-15klms depending on her plans. This would depend on you getting better at running and fitting in some direct exercise time with the kids. I know that you might see this as hard exercise but if you start with short runs at a low intensity I’m sure you’ll get here. By the way the kids don’t see this as exercise, the just want to go for a ride with mom…or dad.

The benefits of exercise are many and can only be positive if you partake in the many activities available. So if you’re worried about the health of your family – your children’s, your spouse’s and your own, it’s about time you got moving. Too many kids and adults these days in my opinion are wasting their time in playing mindless games on their home entertaining systems, hand held video games and sadly on their mobile devices. This approach to parenting creates bad habits that your kids will follow.

Take control and get them off the games and spend time with them.

Strengthening your running chassis

Recreational runners

If you’ve been running for a while and have never managed to experience an injury or suffer from some niggles due to the wear and tear the typical runner incurs then I would probably say you are a quite fortunate or just plain lucky. Well done and keep on going as you are doing well. For some to be a runner is to constantly carry some sort of grievance like a badge of honor. How many times do you hear from a fellow runner how in pain they are after their usual long run and brag about it?

Most recreational runners unfortunately choose to run through the pain and hope it will run itself out or it will go away. Unless you are an active competitor I don’t see the point. For me at my age I can’t afford to get injured as the recovery will not only be long but will carry over to my work and life activities. Like most injuries you should do everything possible to prevent  them, in my case I choose to reduce my chances by incorporating an all over resistance training program that provides me with a balanced regime allowing me to particularly target the hip and leg region in building up a strong and durable running chassis.

Weight training for runners

In the past it was thought of that adding some weight training will bulk you up and slow you down. Fortunately for us we are now in a better position with education and experience that this is not entirely true. It is if you are training to simply pack on mass/muscle, say with a powerlifting or bodybuilding program then you will be slowed down due to the inactive additional mass you have to carry. However in taking a more proactive approach and embracing a complete strength and conditioning program in assisting your passion of running, it will strengthen the skeletal and muscular system and turn you into a more resilient runner. This means that you can enjoy your passion for running. Nothing better than knowing you can tackle the last klms felling stronger through the hips and legs as opposed to being in survival mode and crossing the finish line a wreck.

Here’s a few of my chosen movement that I’ve incorporated into my own and running clients full body programming.

  • Trap bar deadlifts – The one movement that I prefer in the programming of runners is this classic floor pull movement. It works the Quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings together in the execution and compared to the more technically difficult barbell deadlift is kinder on the spinal loading and more comfortable to execute. It’s also easier to teach and allows for greater reps to be performed compared to the Barbell Deadlift and Olympic lifting variations. Remember this lift was chosen for the runner in complimenting their program, not the pure strength trainer. In addition it can also be performed for higher repetitions.
  • Single leg deadlift (SLDL) – In complimenting the trap bar deadlift the next exercise I add is the SLDL as it target the Hamstrings, Glutes & Lower back. An excellent compound (intermediate level) Strength movement. My weapon of choice here is working the two kettlebells as they are easier to hold and assist with the balancing of the movement required. The feedback I get from this little gem is that the glutes get worked solid and walking around for a few days later seems challenging. (Ladies take note!) The other is that it toughens up the ankle and helps with balance. The additional loading of the lower back within the overall movement allows the posterior chain to develop fully and adding value to the movement as running, without the constant (concrete/bitumen) compounding of the joints during a run.
  • Kettlebell Front squats – These are by far my favourite movement for the active runner. The front rack positioning of the Kettlebells once learned allows for a more upright posture development whilst targeting the quadriceps muscles during the squat. This front positioning allows for a deeper squat technique, is easier on the shoulder loading and ensures your core is activated due to the stabilizing required and guarantees it receives a solid hit out. All up an excellent movement for runners compared to the barbell squat less the wrist flexibility required in performance. Once again the choice was for the runner, not the future Olympic lifter.

As previously mentioned the above 3 have been selected in complimenting the runner who has decided to either integrate a more specific workout of just looking at starting up a resistance program and needing where to start. After all you are a runner first and a weight trainer later.

Just to finish off it would be remiss of me if I didn’t as a Personal trainer mentioned that an all over body program is the ideal way in training your body and I would never recommend a pure upper body or Lower body program and disregard a more balanced approach. As a bare minimum and for the sake of balance both the Military press and Chin ups should be added. These two movements are not directly running related but will go a long way in adding upper body strength and balance to the lower body component, from a structural point of view they are a must.

Please ensure that before participating in any resistance program you are familiar with the techniques and are in an environment where professional guidance is available. The last thing you want is to incur an injury from the very program that you started in order to prevent them in the first place.

Happy Running.

Claudefit is an active runner who also balances own resistance training program for a fuller delivery of working out time.

Exercise for the newbies over 40

Exercise for the over 40’s

I’ve recently had the pleasure of being contacted by a journalist who had been looking at presenting as part of a pull out section of a health and fitness Sunday newspaper publication. (the herald sun)

The reason I was called was due to my age (48) and opinions on how partaking in an exercise program over 40 year would fare. I liked the idea that the audience targeted was going to be those new to exercise at this age. In addition I was kind of happy that it would not be about my own story on personal training, I’m sure there are plenty of those around already so helping people who are new to fitness is a privilege.

The following is really the basis of the initial conversation and I though it would be interesting to note what some of the question they were looking at in projecting to their readership.

My responses where pretty much my thoughts based on my own experiences in life and working as a fitness professional.

What are the main physical changes after 40 that will influence your fitness routine? How does the body behave differently from when it was, say, 30-something?

  • The biggest difference when we get to the magical age of 40 is the recovery time and the longer time the body takes to heal from any small niggles. For anyone who has already a solid base of exercise from a younger age it would just be a matter of adjusting the workload and intensity of any activities. A more cautious approach is recommended for those newbies who are looking at participating in any activity post 40. Another change is a lack of proper movement, that is you are hurting performing the most minor of moves like a squat while playing with the kids. Once you are able to move better then you can work with greater loading.

What are the areas of caution and issues to watch out for at this stage in your fitness life?

  • The major one here would be injuries and how they will affect you. Given that you are now in your 40’s it’s fair to say that you have a family, working life and your time is limited for exercise. Adding a rehabilitation process to this just makes it more difficult. Make sure that you are training with a sound program and you are familiar with the technical requirements. The no pain/no gain approach does not apply. It should be more like slowly but surely.

What are the types of exercise best suited at this life stage, or is it the same as ever – choose what suits you best personally?

  • Whether you are a beginner of have some background in exercise the major moves are still effective and should not be neglected, movements like the Squat, deadlift , shoulder press, a rowing movement, pressing movement , and core should be the pillars in any sound program. Adding the many cardio movement like cycling, running, swimming and team activities places you well with regards to your time exercising. Basic is good folks.

I’ve found that once I educate my clients on proper technique and they are able to execute the movement pain free, then it’s just a matter of            following the process and using the required approach depending on the personality types. People respond well when they feel confident in what they are doing and results soon follow. Nothings better that seeing results to motivate us.

What do you find are the most frequent obstacles to motivation among clients you see in this age group?

  • I’m too old for this and I have an injury

Once these two reasons enter their minds it’s quite difficult to break this thinking. These two come up usually early on when working with client or when they are not simply feeling well. Over time with a little more experience and working around any (real) injuries people soon realise that they can still work towards their goals and put aside any anxieties and find that motivation to keep going.

Is this a time in your life when you can still actually achieve personal bests, achieve new goals and continue to expand your fitness?

  • Absolutely! I have a female client who I’ve had the pleasure of working with. She is 60 years young and has beaten her marathon personal best and shorter “parkrun” 5klm weekend runs. She came to me with a solid running background and realised that she needed a stronger body. Others have been my two dads who want to run their first 5 klm event and even give the Spartan race a go. The rest simply want to be able to start running pain free. It’s all achievable if you want it to be.

Women/men issues – anything specific for either sex to focus on (bone strength and resistance with women?)

  • The benefits of exercise a many with the obvious been that you actually move better and feel better .The aesthetics that we often chase should be a by-product of a well-balanced program supported by a sensible nutritional approach. It all comes down to balance. Once you take this approach you will get that lean and appealing look and for the ladies you will still look feminine. You will find that by simply dropping those kilograms you will have more energy and feel better and be able to push yourself properly and achieve other results. Both men and women in general will greatly benefit from an active and healthy lifestyle. An all over strong body and mind should be your goal.

From your own experience again, do you have a healthy client base in this age group? Are greater numbers of people now open to staying fit and active in this age group than before? We are younger than we used to be over 40 with 40 being the new 30, 50 being the new 40, and all of that!

  • I would say that 70% of my client base fits in with this category with most of them coming to see me for an all over program that involves fitness and strength as a priority. Funny enough “weight loss” is not the sole reason. This is great from a service delivery point of view as from the very beginning I can focus on a more complete program that just coming in to lose the weight. These clients are now at an age where a more complete program is required, expectations a high, are time poor and need an experienced and professional instruction in guiding their goals.
  • Being 48 it’s a little easier to get my message across to my fellow post 40 clients.

A final comment

Physical activity is valuable for all and for some has now become a necessity. For us older folk (like me), where maintenance of good health, independence, and certain age/lifestyle factor related disease prevention can be achieved with only a dose of Fitness and Strength. It’s time to take action and do something about it.

As we are now over 40 we should all do some form of physical activity, no matter what your age, weight, health problems or abilities. You have to make an effort. It’s never too late to start becoming physically active. Let’s get you started in helping you out with enjoying the benefits of having more energy, reducing pain in movement and other age related matters we have to deal with that are slowing you down. It’s now time to act.

Claudefit personal training has been a personal trainer for 10 years and has own personal training background since 1988.

Over 40’s Nutritional Tips

101 nutrition

We are now older kids and need to be more reasonable with what our bodies consume. This doesn’t means that you should now sit back, relax and get fatter. Hell no! It’s just a matter of recognising that your body now starts to function a little different that it once used too. The recovery is a little slow and now foods we used to enjoy eating have a different effect in regards being utilised as fuel. That means the plate “full” of pasta we once enjoyed is not going to simply burn itself off as easily as it used too, unless you start making changes in both how much you eat and the quality of food.

Still don’t fret, you still got time and remember you are still in the best years of your life!

If you are like me a little older and care about how you feel, look and function, looking at ways of maintaining your current condition or just getting back into it. You should already have worked it out that there isn’t an easy way to go about it and achieve your weight management or fitness goals. We all know that it takes a disciplined and committed approach in getting you results. The same goes with your nutrition.

My aim here is to guide you through this often over confusing subject of carbs, protein, Good/bad fats etc….. Let’s give it a shot.

Eat carbohydrates

All that time ago when you were young I’m sure your mum might have told you there’s no such thing as too many vegetables. She was right! And I’m talking about the type that comes out of the ground here like it used to.  Not the type that’s has been canned for months in some storage facility ready to export it out to our plates and still legally passes off as a vegetable – well only just.  Generally carbs are either complex ( bread and pasta) or simple (fruit and veggies). These are broken down further; however well keep it simple here. The following lists both types.

Embrace and enjoy the carbs. Just manage your portion as with all other nutrients.

  • Eat whole foods – whole grains, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, and plenty of vegetables.
  • Eat four to five servings of vegetables daily, including dark greens, leafy and root vegetables such as watercress, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach (they worked for Popeye), green beans or peppers, either raw or lightly cooked.
  • Eat three or more servings a day of fresh fruit, preferable apples, pears oranges, plumbs and berries.
  • Eat four or more servings a day of whole grains such as (brown) rice, rye, oat flakes and oat cakes, corn, quinoa (the latest superfood) cereals, breads pasta and potatoes.
  • Avoid any form of sugar, added sugar, and white or refined foods.
  • Dilute fruit juices and only eat dried fruit infrequently in small quantities.(high in sugar)

Include protein in every meal 

Proteins are naturally occurring compounds that are used for growth and repair in the body and to build cells and tissue. Protein is one of the most important components of the diet and when you eat a high-protein diet, you’re generally less hungry. Eat less junk and include protein in you eating plan and you will lose weight as a result. It’s difficult to eat too much protein, although you could easily not be getting enough. Eat it with every meal. A basic approach to servings will go a long way in making you feel full while getting the quality of nutrients the body needs to get the most out of it.

  • Eat two servings of beans , lentils , quinoa , tofu ( soya) seed vegetables or other vegetable protein, or one small serving of mat , fish or cheese or a free range egg , every day.
  • Reduce your intake of dairy products and avoid them altogether if you are allergic, substituting soya oat or rice milk.
  • Reduce other sources of animal protein ,choosing lean meat or wild or organic fish and eating no more than three servings a week of meat and three fish
  • Eat organic whenever possible , to minimise your exposure to toxic and hormone – disrupting chemicals.

Consume good fats

Although most of us know that eating some fat is essential to a healthy diet, it’s all too easy to make a mental connection between eating fat and getting fat, so you end up skipping it. Trouble is that usually means eating something that’s worse for you…say sugar.

Saturated fats is a form of fat found in animal fat products such as cheese, cream, butter ,lard and fatty meats as well as in certain vegetables products such as coconut oil, palm oil and chocolate. There’s also the issue of saturated fat, which is blamed as a cause of high cholesterol and heart disease.

Recent opinion suggests, however, that saturated fat actually raises ‘good’ HDL cholesterol levels while making ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol l benign. After all, we have evolved to eat saturated fats, and they play key roles in the body, so it seems strange that only in the last 50 years have they become bad for us.

Tran’s fats  are unsaturated fats that are uncommon in nature and created artificially. This type of fat is found in processed foods like cereal, baked goods, fast foods, ice cream and frozen dinners. Anything that contains “partially hydrogenated oil” contains trans-fat.

Unsaturated fats ( the good ones) is a form of fat found in foods like avocado ,nuts and vegetables oils, such as canola and olive oils . Meat products contain both saturated and unsaturated fats.The naturally-occurring fats found in oily fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, olives, olive oil and coconut oil provide the body with essential fatty acids. These are used for key functions such as metabolism and hormone synthesis, which are critical to your ability to burn fat. The fats you should worry about are the man-made, hydrogenated variety found in processed foods and junk food, as research links them to a variety of illnesses and health issues, including heart disease and obesity.

  • Eat seeds and nuts the best seeds are flax, hemp, pumpkin sunflower and sesame. You get more goodness out of them by grinding them first and sprinkling them on cereal soup and salads.
  • Eat oily fish – a serving of anchovies, sardines, maceral or salmon two or three times  week provides a good source of Omega 3 fats
  • Use seed oils – choose cold pressed oil blends for salads dressing and other cold uses, such as drizzling on vegetables instead of butter.
  • Minimise you intake of fried foods, processed food and saturated fat from meat and dairy produce.

Remember, Eat real food 

This is the key. If you do this, you’ll end up following all the other rules almost by default. A simple rule of thumb is only eating food that you would consider “wholesome” and enjoy an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Let’s not forget to include water here. Simple rule to shop by, the centre of most supermarkets is literally packed with processed items that are easy passed on a real food.

For example the following are just a few options in regards to breakfast alone. Ditch the high sugar stuff and replace it with these.

  • All-bran
  • Natural Muesli and yogurt
  • Oat bran
  • Porridge
  • Rolled Oats
  • Sourdough Rye
  • Sourdough Wheat
  • Soya and Linseed
  • Special K

Your overall goal is to eat in a way that meets the follow criteria -Think both about calorie quantity and quality and you will go far in optimising you nutritional intake. With a little consistency and not over indulging the weight should come off.

The bottom line is to enjoy you food and limit the volume, eat good quality food and don’t overdo it. Simple.

Northern Suburbs Strength trainer

Northern Suburbs Strength Trainer

As an experienced personal trainer I have over the years learned and forgotten so many exercises that I feel sometimes I suffer from exercise overload. Continuous professional development has allowed me to keep the good and discard the unnecessary (It’s part of being a trainer).  Why bother performing 18 exercises when sometimes half can be more effective. It’s unfortunate that the fitness industry is always looking at ways to keep people entertained as opposed to keeping them fit.

It is with this experience that I hold my ground on what works and ignore the other sales orientated stuff that is served up by the truckload. I stick to what works and continue to improve on the fundamentals. So when you mix up only elements that work together it’s a win-win situation as a trainer and for client deliverables. The following is a basic template of just one of my plans that works a treat.

Please note that nutrition also plays a major apart in any well balanced program. What I cover here is the stuff that burns the calories, plenty of them.

One of my current mixes of exercises to get my experienced clients to perform during a session is the one where I call it the nasty 3. It’s quite simple in application and somewhat challenging when you commit.  It starts off with 3 solid core exercises followed by double kettlebell complexes and finishing you off with various boxing punch out / Heavy bag drills.

Depending on where client’s current strength and conditioning is, it’s quite easy to fine tune the effect with the right choice of resistance and kettlebell weight. For example if you have been using the 16kg kettlebells then jump to the next increment which is 20kg you are in another world of pain. You see traditional Kettlebells only go up in increments of 4kgs. (Evil laugh) I tend cover whatever energy you have left in the boxing section with the focus pads.

It’s part of the fun.

Core first

The exercises work well in providing a solid and somewhat challenging core routine.  The added benefit is that the limbs are sufficiently warmed up once you have completed the core work.  By then you should be well and truly “switched on” The reason these work well is due to the core being worked first and given the basic movements performed the whole body is being utilised to support the exercise leaving you prepared for the workload ahead.

  • Torsinator 5 sets of 10
  • Lying leg raise (holding stick)
  • Medicine ball throws (old school)

Kettlebell

The next component is the Kettlebell complex that involves only double kettlebell work. It’s important to point out that the clients who work with the doubles have already an establish base of strength, experience and fitness in working with kettlebells at my premises, so be warned if you are not proficient on the kettlebells. Get some instruction before you jump into the doubles.  Locating an RKC Kettlebell instructor here would be ideal.

  • Double Kettlebell Press
  • Double kettlebell Squats
  • Double kettlebell swings
  • Double kettlebell cleans

Boxing Workout

When it comes to boxing the benefits associated with this discipline can basically stand on their own when it comes to delivering  strength, fitness, movement and an absolute calorie burn. I like to incorporate the Boxing element with my clients as a great finisher to the more weight bearing movements. It allows us to flush out the tightness created with weights and gives me an opportunity to finish of the session on a high.

In addition I usually gauge how much energy my clients have and leave them with nothing with the proper use of focus pads.

  • 3 rounds of Skipping (keep a solid tempo)
  • 3 rounds of bag work (working at 80% exertion)
  • 3 x rounds of Mitt work (intensity at my discretion)

The above approach with my more seasoned clients allows up to basically mixing it up while still focusing on 3 vital areas of conditioning. That is Core, Strength & Cardio. This simple plan can also be used with my other clients with an emphasis on one element ( say Kettlebells) work in one core movement and introduce them to boxing. Either way it works out well.

The importance is to ensure the client receives a solid workout where you manage them to the end. Not smash them. It’s about making the session more effective. Not a beat down.

Remember thus is full body strength and conditioning workout. (GPP)  Not a sports skill workout. We are training the body to cope with whatever activity you follow. Be it running an obstacle course, trail running, Afl or rugby. Getting the body prepared will go a long way in the enjoyment of your chosen activity and even increase you skill training time.

Apart from being effective all over body workout it becomes just as dynamic when it comes to calorie burning. You will not be disappointed.

As we like to ask ourselves here, how many calories will I burn today?

All of them!

Your weight loss checklist in reaching your goals. (Part 2)

Consumption of low to moderate GI foods

When it comes to carbohydrates the importance of this nutrient is the fact that it is the one that will mainly provide you with the energy that you need to get by your day. Unfortunately this is the one that is mostly misunderstood and people are under the impression that to eliminate all carbs or take on an extreme low carb diet is a sure way in getting to drop the bodyweight down. To simply eliminate carbs is to basically stave yourself into being skinny while still holding fat deposits ! Need proof? Just look at any major gossip/fashion type magazine and check out the so called skinny people. Or more to the point – staved. The significance of a low GI loading to carbohydrate refers to the release of steady energy over the day as opposed to a fast release that ultimately leaves you feeling unsatisfied and as a result, you eat again and ultimately increase you calorie intake.

Eat complex carbohydrates and reduce refined sugars

Closely connected to the item above the consumption of complex carbohydrates should be a major component to any health and weight management goals. After all the good carbs are an excellent source of energy and if you consume the right ones and get in the quality ones you will feel better and have the energy to carry you over the day. Foods like rice (brown) pasta, noddles, and wholemeal breads the current superfood Quiona, sweet potatoes are the staple ones that are easily available to anyone who is familiar with a supermarket.  If you are the type to not consume carbohydrates after 6pm you need help. Getting in the “complex”quality into you system is the key to long term health and to have sustained energy.

When it comes to refined sugar, the quantity  contained in most soft drinks reigns supreme. Not sure what’s worse. Fanta or Coca cola when it comes to the sugar content, It doesn’t matter, avoid both. If you are not happy then I would suggest you at least give the diet option a go. The hidden sugar within the carbohydrate in some food stuff is the item that has been the reason people are now increasing their waistlines. Take the good ol 3% fat free muffing. Don’t worry about it being only 3% fat, or the fact that it has over 600 calories! (sarcasm) But if you could work out the sugar content you will not be disappointed should you be looking at a high mark!  This is where the natural sugar in fruit is a better option. Yes it’s still energy however the nutrient quality is where it trumps the refined sugar and in addition doesn’t mess with the insulin release that ultimately contributes to weight gain. Get some fruit, veggies and complex carbohydrates and  avoid over consumption and reduce you sugar intake.

Eating slowly to encourage maximum digestion

How many times in the past have you were told to slow down, chew and enjoy your food.  It takes the body approximately 15-20 minutes or so for the food to travel down to the stomach and start the process of making you feel full. Don’t disadvantage this by using this time to throw down the food as quick as possible and them find yourself clearly over stuffing  (AKA gorging) what would otherwise be an enjoyable meal. If you have taken the time to plan and properly prepare you meal, why would you not want to enjoy it?  Unfortunately I see this food frenzy mentality at most food courts and sadly at some family restaurant. People, please slow down it’s not a race. Enjoy the pleasures of eating. A good tip is to stop eating when you are at least 80% full. I dare you.

Choosing low fat products and methods of cooking

This one’s an oldie but a goodie. In choosing low fat products be aware that fat, that is good fats are well….. good for you, so don’t go all the way and try for the zero fat approach. You won’t get far and as for your overall health not really a good idea. Instead become familiar with the types of fats you need to  consumed and eliminate the heaviness that trans fats offer (bad ones ) while incorporation and enjoying good fats like Avocados, Nuts, flax seed oil , olive oil, fish oil supplements, egg yolks that should be all consumed for optimal nutritional value. As for the methods of cooking. Let’s get it back to basic and say that deep frying or frying in any case is not the preferred option.

Depending on the food type. Try to boiling, Steaming and even oven bake you food for cleaner and healthier results.

Avoiding or limiting alcohol intake

This one’s always intrigues me when I discuss it with clients. What I’m finding here is that people most likely will under estimate their alcohol consumption. It’s just the way it is. I have never had someone tell me early in our training sessions what they actually drink. “Just a few during the week I think” its only after we do a food diary that the true amount becomes clear. In fact unless I write it down myself id probably be guessing as well. Now I’m not suggesting that one doesn’t drink at all. After all there are social occasions that go hand in hand with having a drink, the quiet one at home after work or simply out with mates. What I’m suggesting is to take a more direct approach and weigh up the benefits of elimination or at least reducing your overall alcohol consumption. Not only is alcohol more energy dense as it has more calories per gram them both protein and carbohydrates. (Only fat is more energy dense) In addition the promotion of greater fat storage is increased due to the body’s inability to process foods while under the influence. It basically utilises all its processes in getting rid of the alcohol before it taps into the foods energy source.

In a nutshell the kebab after a few beers is one way the set you back the whole week. And that’s with only one meal.

Focusing on a healthy habit not diet

This is what it really comes down to.

The most basic way to see it is to consume adequate quantities in calories, ensure they are quality and make sure the calorie ratio is well balanced. The emphasis should not be on just focusing or increasing one food group. It should be about an overall long term strategy that is simply part of your lifestyle. Getting in the quality into you system will make you feel better as you are sufficiently getting in the vitamins, minerals in eating “clean foods” while maintaining a sound quantity intake looks after the rest. Add in the proper balance of you meals and you don’t have to think about it again. Severe restrictive “dieting” should be left to those who participate in weight bearing sports on occasions where this approach will be short term. The long term approach is the one you should take as opposed to the 6 week diets offered on the lifestyle trash magazines.

Exercising regularly

Well given that I’m a Personal trainer it’s a no brainer that I would recommend exercise here. The benefits are clear. With a smart and well planned program you can  become stronger, fitter, be able to move better (pain free for some) and if adhering to proper nutrient quantity, quality and getting in the correct ratios it should all fall into place nicely  and will go along way in getting you results.

The bottom line is to have a nutritional plan, actually implement that plan and be committed to your overall goal.

Get the nutrition right and you are well on the way.

Claudefit personal training is based In Mill Park.

Gym and Fitness

Fitness with Claude

Great to be asked to contribute as a fitness “expert” for one of the larger commercial gym equipment sellers and information providers in  Gym and Fitness .

The following blog post is basically in response to a few questions they asked me to provide.

Hope this continues for the benefit of both Claudefit and Gym and Fitness.

It’s important to get out there and be seen as a voice of knowledge in getting people Healthier , Fitter , Stronger and Feeling better about themselves.

http://www.gymandfitness.com.au/blog/personal-trainers/personal-trainer-claude/

For now its a matter of keeping the head down and getting the work done.

Claudefit Personal training is located in Mill Park and offer a private facility for your health and fitness goals.

 

Strength and Conditioning (Part 2)

Strength and Conditioning

The second part is to add value to the previous two mentioned strength building methods. The following refers to the next phase relating more to the conditioning aspect with the use of a Kettlebell, why you have to run and a reminder why you should monitor your nutrition. Let’s keep it simple and practical. You should have plenty to keep you busy with your own sports specific skill work I’m sure.

Barbell supremacy for strength training

The two approaches to delivering results have been for a long time the tried and through methods of a sound conditioning program but are not the only ways of getting results. The barbell has for a long time been heralded as the one piece of equipment that has over time been replaced, copied , watered down ( via machines)  and often been challenged, yet it still serves as the only way in getting the job done for the serious types. The following exercises will certainly be of benefit in incorporating in most strength and conditioning programs. Here’s a sample of you can do with only the barbell.

Military Press – Basically this is a standing shoulder press performed with a barbell.  It’s regarded as the prime mover in getting those old fashioned broad shoulders happening and is also one of the assistant exercises in both the Weightlifting and Powerlifting methods. A must have exercise wit any program.

Bent over rows – When you have been working out for a while and have developed great core stability and know how to fold the hips back, this exercise is one of the primary back builders that is a favourite with the bodybuilding crowd. The Lat pull-down has often been used as opposed to this movement due to its ease in application. Within a true strength program why not use them both!

Front Squat – Another exercise that is one of the fundamental movements in the weightlifting method. On its own it’s a great leg builder that promotes a more upright posture and give the core a workout in stability of the upper body. A fantastic option if you don’t want to back squat.

Barbell complex – I thought I might as well sneak in this particular approach to barbell work. It’s generally for a bit of mental conditioning and is a sure fire way in getting the heart rate up. Can be done with a lighter than usual weight and it will be up to you how many repetitions you can handle . A great one to incorporate with a training buddy. You basically have to perform 3-5 reps and then straight away move onto the next movement. Give it a try and see how far you get. Eg: 5 x bent rows. 5 x cleans 5 x front squats, 5 x military press – repeat.

Push Press – Related to the Military press and Jerk the bottom line is that it’s easy to learn, helps you lift the heavier weights above the head and allows you to use you bottom half in generating the power from the ground up . An important skill to utilise for many sports. Performed in volumes it ensures the heart rate will be left elevated for a long time post workout.

Conditioning with the Kettlebell ballistics

My favourite tool in generating the volumes in delivering many conditioning requirements. It sits well with the typical sporting movements and its effects are immediately felt.  A workman like approach that only the Kettlebell can bring to the table. Take the Kettlebell version of the snatch performed with one hand and you are on another level when it comes to an elevated heart rate and the overall effect of owning a pair of wobbly legs.

The highly rated RKC snatch test requires an individual ( male) to perform 100 x 24kg snatches within a set 5 minute timeframe, It also has to be done with a better than average technique in order for you to pass. An impressive feat that is the expected standard of an RKC Instructor.

Another way to condition is to use the complex drills that when performed with a kettlebell seem to have a natural flow. Take for example a set of double swings, double cleans, double snatch, double press and double Squat for reps of 3-5 in a continuous manner.

For  simpler and just as effective conditioning drill , for some there is no need to take it further than the kettlebell swing that activates the posterior chain and develops and excellent overall conditioning . It aids in grip strength and when done in high volumes teaches you mental conditioning – Take my word.  The carry over effect of the swing will allow you to improve on you running as it shares many similarities with running mechanics.

Add in the Turkish get up with the related benefits of mobility, the renegade rows for core development and kinetic chain connection and you are done.

Running

The simplicity of running and the overall physical and mental benefits it brings needs to be appreciated. For a conditioning program it’s an effective cardiovascular workout that you can’t do without. As they say Athletes run, Pure and simple. For general fitness benefits you can use the treadmill or go for a walk, however the reality is if you are serious about your conditioning you have to run. If you don’t know how to run, you have to learn, if you tell me you have bad knees, you should not be doing strength and conditioning work (or  get fixed)and if you have “breathing difficulties” or “not designed to run” and “hate running” you are just not fit , so run – ok?

Nutrition

When it comes to nutrition you have to juggle the food intake that will allow you to fuel you work-out and need to get in the adequate quality of nutrients for recovery. In addition you have to ensure of the incoming calories for health and wellbeing. For a performance athlete you need the extra calories for a proper recovery phase and ensure that your essential Vitamin’s (B’s) are adequate. Your nutrition in recovery is important.

The weight loss nutrition is different to performance so be ready to eat a bit more, so becoming stricter should be expected. Enjoy the carbs ! Simply eating up as you see fit without a plan could potentially be causing a weight increase which is detrimental to bodyweight sports. A sound nutritional approach will go a long way in performance and keep you in good spirits. Eating crappy food will have the opposite effects.

Mobility

An important component that is neglected by many. If you are not able to get into position with no weight there is no point in putting you under loading and “working it out later” the diligent trainer should address any lack of mobility on areas such as ankle, hips, knee ,thoracic region,wrists mobility and work on improving range or positioning. No point in incurring an injury that will prevent you from you training.

No training means no improvement.

Claudefit Personal training is located in Mill Park and operated out from his own private facility catering to the individual who want to take their strength and conditioning to the next stage

Plenty Gorge trail run.

Mill Park trail

It was just recently that our running group and I discovered the enjoyment of trail runs and as a result a few of us have now completed race two of the Salomon trail series that makes up one of the 4 trail running events held during the cooler months. The series offers a great variety of trail running in covering the areas of Yarra bend park, Plenty Gorge (race2), Olinda and Anglesea. I myself took on the 12klm option along with a long-term client and can pretty much sum it up as one the harders running event we have all entered in. After all it was a race and not a fun run. In addition it was also one of the most enjoyable.

We have often as a team entered events like the Tough Mudder and Spartan race along with many other popular Melbourne fun runs as part of our fitness program and clearly found this one tough going. The same reaction was displayed by our female team member who chose the shorter version of the course of about 6klms. Both distances covered were quite demanding, and equally as rewarding once you made it to the finish line.

The beauty of trail running is that the scenery is constantly changing. At one time you are simply running on a fire clearing along the bush and then all of a sudden you are traversing across the cliff at pace on a single track. It doesn’t end there , as we found (during the event) out when running along the bottom of the hill as it was just a matter of time before we had to back run up and as we are aware the Australian bushland is not a forgiving landscape, so be prepared. Oh did I say it was fun didn’t I?

Coming from a bitumen background, having participated in several major road running events and Obstacle course runs, this one clearly rates up there with one of the best.  What a great decision it turned out to be in entering this race. Initially this event was simply to outline a set course that my clients and I could run as part of our regular workouts.  However, as it turned out after being a participant of this great event it was obvious to me that I’ll be putting this run up with my favourite runs and got more out of it than initially thought.

Why trail running?

Trail running is all about getting away from the bitumen and heading in head first into the wilderness. Well if you live In Mill Park the blue lake is close enough, for it with all its challenging running sections offer the opportunity for the runner to see the local kangaroos along with a variety of mammals you would typically encounter in the Aussie bush. And in some cases, while you are negotiating a creek crossing!

  • The best trail running (many would argue) is on ‘single track’ – usually walking/hiking trails that you can only traverse on foot.
  • These are the best trails because they tend to lead you into the most pristine and stunning environments.
  • Trail running does also encompass some running on dirt roads and fire trails and, due to logistics, can sometimes at a push include short stretches of road running to get from one trail to another.
  • But, essentially, trail running is all about running in beautiful and inspiring parts of the world that remain as Mother Nature intended: untouched and wild. Of which there are endless examples in Australia.

Fortunately for me I have access from my back yard as it borders the gorge national park and only takes us approximately 10 minutes to get to the actual blue lake. For years I was always wondering what it would be like to venture down and check it out. I’m glad I finally did as a new trail runner to have such an awesome track right on my backyard that the series deems worthy enough for an event is fortunate for me and my running group.

Gotta go, time to get running in the bush.

Claudefit  personal training is  based in Mill Park and with over 8 years in the fitness industry and 25 years of own practical experience you are sure to be looked after in relation to you fitness needs.

 

Book A Session Today!